ONE VICTIM of a serial con artist who ripped off more than 60 big-hearted Cantabrians walked two hours to court just to watch "the bloody crook" go to jail.
Kim Barwell (right), 47, used a well-rehearsed petrol scam where he would pose as a Hororata farmer who had run out of petrol.
A caregiver, he would ask them for petrol money so he could get home, promising to pay them back straight away, and even offering them free meat from his non-existent farm.
He targeted dozens of people, often elderly shoppers, in his scam which pocketed him more than $5000.
But at the district court on Wednesday he was sent to prison for 16 months on 65 charges of causing people a loss by deception and for three theft charges, including when he stole a Salvation Army donation money box.
"I'm happy he's gone to jail," said Alan Strez, a 70-year-old pensioner, conned out of $140 by Barwell at Barrington Mall last year.
Mr Strez was in a supermarket car park when he was approached by Barwell.
"He said he'd run out of petrol and asked for $40 to get home.
"He also needed $40 to pay the tow truck and another $60 to pay for his groceries.
"And okay, I was gullible and I paid it."
But Mr Strez, who confronted Barwell three times to try to get his cash back after discovering his address, can take comfort in that he wasn't the only one taken in.
Barwell, who lived in Hornby, admitted trying the well-known scam 65 times. The sums he got away with varied from $8 to $380.
Judge Noel Walsh ordered Barwell to pay $5080 back to his victims on his release.